Launch of new East Lancs walking trail in honour pioneers

·1-min read
Tom Stephenson, founder of the Pennine Way
Tom Stephenson, founder of the Pennine Way

THE work of two pioneering countryside campaigners is to be celebrated with the launch of a new walking trail this weekend.

The Pendle Radicals project and Mid Pennine Arts are celebrating the launch of the Two Toms Trail - a 25 miles linear walk from Whalley to Colne and the Pennine Way above Earby - by offering two, free guided walks.

The trail links Tom Stephenson, creator of the Pennine Way with Tom Leonard, who provided cheap outdoor holidays for working class people.

To mark the trail, two led group walks will follow the route from Whalley to Colne on Saturday and Sunday and learn about the lives and achievements of the ‘Two Toms’ along the way.

Tom Stephenson was brought up in Whalley and championed the creation of national parks and ‘freedom to roam’ our mountains and moorlands. He was secretary of the Ramblers Association and was inspired to create the Pennine Way long-distance trail after walking on Pendle Hill.

Tom Leonard worked as a pastor in Victorian Colne and took mill workers from the town on an outdoor holiday to the Lake District in 1891. From this he created the Co-operative Holidays Association and the Holiday Fellowship and was a founder member of the Youth Hostels Association.

These two champions of the outdoors who dedicated their lives to protecting our open spaces and opening up the countryside for all to enjoy are being celebrated in the new trail. The guided walks at the weekend will also include a visit to the unique Clarion House at Roughlee.

Both guided walks are free but booking is essential via EventBrite - search for Two Toms Walk at www.eventbrite.co.uk

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